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SC adjourns hearing on Mudgal committee report to Friday

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New Delhi, Nov 10 :

The Supreme Court Monday said it will go through the Justice Mukul Mudgal committee report that probed the allegations of betting and spot fixing in 2013 edition of IPL and also examine whether it could be made public or what parts of it could be withheld.

Supreme CourtAt the outset of the hearing, a bench of Justice T.S. Thakur and Justice Fakkir Mohamed Ibrahim Kalifulla said they have yet to go through the report. “Report has come. None of us (Justice Thakur and Justice Kalifulla) has been able to see it,” the court said as senior counsel Harish Salve said that probe report was submitted to the court Nov 3.

At this, senior counsel C.A. Sundaram, appearing for the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), urged the court to see the conclusion of the report and if there was nothing against any of the office bearers, then that can be disclosed.

Making it clear that his main concern was Nov 20 BCCI general body meeting, Sundaram said that he was addressing the court on all the office bearers and not just N. Srinivasan who as of now stands side-lined as BCCI chief in the wake of the court’s March 28 order.

At this, Justice Thakur observed: “Let us say there is no finding against Srinivasan but there is something against someone close to him, then what will be the situation.”

“If someone’s relative is involved, would it amount to Srinivasan’s disqualification to contest election as BCCI head,” he asked in a reference to Srinivasan’s son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan being under a cloud for alleged betting scandal in the 2013 IPL edition.

The court said that it had to see the findings of the Mudgal Committee report, nature of the findings, whether (acts alleged were) illegal, improper, fairness of the entire exercise, a does it not affects the confidence of the people”.

Senior counsel Kapil Sibal appearing for Srinivasan and Sundaram then argued that the involvement of a near one can’t bar a person from contesting election. Even for election to parliament, this situation does not come in the way, said Sibal.

“How can my election be affected if my son-in-law, brother-in-law or sister are under cloud,” he said.

Countering the defence, Salve, appearing for petitioner Cricket Association of Bihar, said that initially Srinivasan had described Meiyappan as a “cricket enthusiast” and there is a set of BCCI rules that makes cover up a corruption.

Taking a dig at the petitioner, Sibal said that there is also a “litigation enthusiast”.

As the court said that it would through the report and see what can be held back and what can be made public, Sibal said that if Mudgal Committee exonerates Srinivasan, then it should be made public.

Senior counsel Raju Ramachandran, appearing for the Mudgal Committee, informed the court that that the report was in about 35 pages and gives no names but numbers and is accompanied with a key that discloses for which person each number stands. Ramachandran told the court that besides this there is a short note by a former cricketer.

The court then adjourned the hearing till Friday when it will take up the report for hearing.

(IANS)